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Thread: How to find cause of crashes

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Xubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    How to find cause of crashes

    Hello folks. Hopefully someone here can help me. I have been putting up with this problem since the release of Ubuntu 12.04 and since then I have been stuck on Xubuntu 11.10 and unable to upgrade any further. Seeing how 11.10 will no longer be supported after April I really need to find a fix.

    My problem is that Ubuntu 12.04 and newer (and any distro based on the same), crashes my computer randomly. Sometimes it just freezes (keyboard and mouse also become non-responsive) and the only way out is to do a hard reboot with the power switch. Other times the computer will reboot on its own.

    Logically I thought of several culprits, overheating, bad gpu, bad hard drive. However I have narrowed the problem down to the Kernel version.

    The only way I have figured out to reproduce the problem without fail is by launching up a game I sometimes play called Second Life. The game itself does not cause a crash however teleporting to un ancached location does. Let me explain. This game will save on your hard drive textures and game data from each location within the game. If I stay on the same location no crashes occur. The crashes occur only if I go to a new location and the computer starts pulling and saving data to my hard drive. Because of this I thought ok, it must be the GPU or my hard drive.

    But here is how I have ruled these out:

    The GPU - If I boot on Windows vista no crashes occur and I cannot reproduce. If I boot on Ubuntu/Xubuntu 11.10 no crashes occur and I cannot reproduce

    The Hard drive - My hard drive was bad so I replaced it. It is now a brand new hard drive.

    How I narrowed it down to the Kernel Version:

    I noticed that Xubuntu/Ubuntu 11.10 did not crash. Ubuntu/Xubuntu 12.04 (and linux mint 13) do crash.

    I tested on a fresh install of Xubuntu 11.10 wich comes with Kernel 3.0.0-12-generic. No crashes occur with this fresh install. However as soon as I apply an update (update manager asks to update to kernel 3.0.0-23 or something) the crashes start happening.

    So I have been stuck on Xubuntu/Ubuntu 11.10 and Linux Mint 12 not being able to even apply updates to the kernels, I have to use Kernel 3.0.0-12 so that I don't have a problem.

    I have checked dmesg but I cannot ever see any error messages that could have caused a crash.

    I am sorry if this post is so long but I am trying to be as detailed as possible to illustrate the problem. Please note that it is not specific to the Second Life game. Second Life is the only way I can surely reproduce a crash however this happens randomly also when doing other things.

    tl;dr I cannot update to any ubuntu version that uses anything newer than kernel 3.0.0-12.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by gorellana09; July 13th, 2013 at 05:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Ubuntu

    Re: How to find cause of crashes

    usually when installing a much newer kernel that supports the version of the distribution must also update some repositories that host controllers that adapt to the kernel. so, sometimes you get kernel panic or crash.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    48
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    Xubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: How to find cause of crashes

    Thanks for the reply ercherramon. The thing is these crashes will occur with a brand new install of Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10, Linux Mint 13, etc. So it is not an update issue.

  4. #4
    wojox is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: How to find cause of crashes

    Have you tried anything outside the Ubuntu family like Fedora, OpenSuse, or Arch out of curiosity ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: How to find cause of crashes

    Hello wojox, thanks for the reply. No I have not tried any of them because I am new to Linux (almost 2 years but still a newb) and I am afraid that without the Ubuntu type installer I would be lost so I am afraid really. I am currently triple booting Windows Vista, Xubuntu 11.10 (which is my primary use) and Ubuntu 12.10 ( a partition I keep for testing distros), but never anything outside of the Ubuntu family.

  6. #6
    wojox is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: How to find cause of crashes

    Well you got it down to the kernel versions which is awesome. That helps narrow it down.
    What Graphics card/chip do you run?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: How to find cause of crashes

    the hardrive may need to be reformatted because it's default may have been set up for a different configuration

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Xubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: How to find cause of crashes

    Hello quentinl, thanks for the reply. What exactly do you mean?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Re: How to find cause of crashes

    I'd like to update this thread. My suspicions were correct in the Kernel being the culprit. I have now after some months installed Mint 15 which comes with Kernel 3.8 and the crashes are no longer present. So whatever was causing problems for me between kernel 3.0 and 3.8 has been fixed. I am so happy to finally be able to use the latest, being stuck on the now no longer supported Xubuntu 11.10 was no fun at all.
    Last edited by gorellana09; July 13th, 2013 at 05:36 AM.

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